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No Kevin Garnett? No problem for the Boston Celtics, who made the Heat look like high school players trying to keep up with the big boys on the court. The Celtics blew by the Heat to take a two-game lead in the first round of the NBA playoffs on Tuesday night with a blowout win by a 106-77 final score.
The question going into Tuesday’s clash was who was going to fill the shoes of Kevin Garnett, who was serving his one-game suspension for elbowing Quentin Richardson in the head during Saturday night’s game. Glen Davis got the call to start in place of Garnett over Rasheed Wallace (the right choice in my mind). Davis did just what he needed and more with the big shoes that he had to fill. “The Ticket Stub” (a nickname Davis gave to himself after filling in for KG, aka “The Big Ticket,” in last year’s playoffs) finished the night with 23 points and eight rebounds.
However, he was not the only star performer for Boston. Ray Allen came up huge for the Celtics after a less than spectacular game one on Saturday. Ray had 25 points in Game 2, spotlighted by going 7-9 from beyond the three-point line.
With the efforts of Davis and Allen, the rest of the Celtics did not have to do much but be back-up role players. Don’t get me wrong though, the rest of the team played well too, especially on defense. Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins both had 13 points with Perk grabbing 9 rebounds as well. Rajon Rondo had eight points, but also dished out the ball for 12 assists on the night.
The bench mainly featured Rasheed Wallace, Tony Allen, Michael Finley, and Sheldon Williams, as they all tried to help fill in for the Garnett-less Celtics. Nate Robinson and Marquis Daniels only came in towards the end of the fourth quarter to play some garbage minutes after the game was well over.
So, did anything spectacular really happen for the Heat in this one? Not really. Dwayne Wade proved that he is pretty much the only reason that Miami is even in the playoffs. Despite how good Wade is, he wasn’t even enough to take on the Celtics. Wade finished the night with 29 points, but showed how tired he was in the fourth quarter after just chucking up some three pointers and missing badly to try to bring his team back into it. Michael Beasley (13 points, 7 rebounds) and Mario Chalmers (10 points) were the only other Miami players to reach double figures in scoring.
The Celtics were dominant start to finish in this game. The game was tied at 23 at the end of the first quarter, but at halftime the C’s were able to hold Miami to only 10 points in the second quarter to give them a 49-33 lead. The Celtics also out rebounded the Heat 50-33. Yes, that’s correct…the Celtics out-rebounded another team by 27, including a 10-6 advantage on the offensive boards. Where was all that during the regular season?
Perhaps Kevin Garnett’s suspension got the Celtics thinking blowout going into this one. They had two huge runs in both the second and third quarters of 21-0 and 18-0 respectively. They led by as much as 33 and only committed 14 fouls. It was nothing but an all-around great night of basketball for the Boston Celtics.
The Celts will look to continue this momentum down in Miami for Game 3 on Friday night. Kevin Garnett will return to action and will most likely hear a lot of boos from the Miami fans, just as Quentin Richardson did during Game 2 every time he touched the ball. Not to try and jinx the Celtics, but only 14 teams have ever come back to win a playoff round after being down 2-0 in a best of seven series.
Tags: Boston Celtics, Dwayne Wade, Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat, Michael Beasley, Michael Finley, NBA Playoffs, Paul Pierce, Quentin Richardson, Rajon Rondo, Rasheed Wallace, Ray Allen, Sheldon Williams, Tony Allen